Proxima Sociale

Music and youth social work unite at the 10th anniversary of a civic organization called Proxima Sociale. The event took place at a vibrant Prague night club called Palac Akropolis last Friday. Proxima Sociale works in two large districts in Prague and offers various resources to youth, such as housing and psychological support, and they are also very active in recruiting possible candidates for these services on the street. But yes this is an arts report. The event presented four young Czech bands ranging from jazz melodies, hardcore and reggae music.

The bands included Nina, Bustlers, Jazz melodies, The Mirek Broum Band and were all from Prague. The atmosphere was warm and alive and it was a pleasure to be part of such an event. In speaking with some of the band members after the concert, most were unsure about the direction their music was going and claimed it can be difficult to find venues in Prague to perform in. But mainly they wanted to continue to play music to simply have a good time. Proxima Sociale facilitates the development of such bands through providing affordable rehearsal space and performance opportunities, such as this, which is imperative if an emerging band wants to accumulate an audience. Proxima Sociale's program is called Krok, or taking a step.

Prague International Jazz Festival

This is the sound of the Latin Wave a Czech band that performed at Prague's International Jazz festival last week.

Nearing the winter months here in the Czech Republic nothing could be more pleasurable than a hot toddy, voluptuous jazz melodies, and the coziness of the legendary jazz club called Reduta - a stage which has been graced by the presence of great names such as Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck and Chick Corea. Even Bill Clinton and Vaclav Havel broke it down here for a jam session. Jiri Letos is one of the head organizers of the festival.

"This year is a very special year for our festival because it is not only the Prague International Jazz Festival but it is also the 45th anniversary of the most famous Czech Jazz Club Reduta therefore all of the concerts took place in Reduta and only in Reduta."

The legendary Reduta jazz club was founded in 1958 and was the only remaining and thriving jazz club to last through the communist regime. Its location is ideal, right on Narodni, or National Street, half way between the National Theater and Wenceslas Square. The heart of Europe quickly adapted jazz from Black Americans and the Czech Republic came to the forefront of jazz in Europe at the end of the Second World War. This year's Prague International Jazz Festival is also the longest ever, starting on the 27th of October and closing on the 9th of November. The festival will feature 20 Czech soloists and bands as well as 7 international stars. Some of the big Czech names on the jazz scene include Jiri Stivin, Karel Ruzicka, Pavel Smetacek and Milan Svoboda.